Ontalva, Ángel: Mundo Flotante
Ángel Ontalva is the guitarist for October Equus, an avant prog outfit out of Spain. Both artists I was unfamiliar with before listening to Ontalva's debut solo album Mundo Flotante, released in 2012.
The music here is jazz rock/fusion and if you like a complicated listen you are in for a real treat. This is some intricate stuff from a group of very talented musicians who incidentally are all involved with October Equus, except for drummer Toni Mangas.
The music can be both powerful and delicate with stunning arrangements and scintillating musicianship. These guys can really play and although Ontalva's guitar is superb throughout, he gives his backing band plenty of opportunities to shine. This really is a total band effort.
In the album opening "Sopla viento del Este" rich melodica sounds fill the air along with Ontalva's guitar reaching some tasty high notes. Various tempos and some raging organ complete the picture. It is a very adventurous track and the musicians pay attention to the smallest of details.
"Bounkam Rêverie" is another intricate piece, maybe a little more laid back, with prominent sax and a very cool keyboard solo. The bass work of Amanda Cosse really stands out as well as her sinuating lines weave their way through the background, always present but never dominating the sound.
"Leilya" starts with some intricate guitar and cymbal taps before the rest of the instruments join in. Flute, electric piano and sax work together to give this one an exotic world touch. The vocalizations that appear later on have a strong Arabic vibe.
"Una para Lars" has a softer pastoral feel with lovely keyboard sounds and warm cello adding depth and texture.
The five part "Suite Sendas de Ofir" is as adventurous as they come offering a myriad of sounds and styles from the laid back softer approach of "En Ruta" to the more intense experimentation in "White Bird" with superb drumming, sax and keys. For dramatic shifts in theme and tempo listen to "Sendas de Ofir", the third part of the suite, for some mind bending musicianship.
Mundo Flotante is an excellent piece of modern jazz rock and fusion that easily earns 4 stars. Simply outstanding!
1. Sopla viento del Este (4:36)
2. Bounkam Rêverie (4:08)
3. Leilya (4:01)
4. Una para Lars (3:57)
5. Suite Sendas de Ofir: En Ruta (1:40)
6. Suite Sendas de Ofir: White Bird (6:21)
7. Suite Sendas de Ofir: Sendas de Ofir (4:44)
8. Suite Sendas de Ofir: Oricalco (2:33)
9. Oricalco Coda (2:28)
10. Aurelia quiere saber (2:24)
11. Sunda Stream (2:43)
12. Aguas del Bagradas (4:18)
Added: October 17th 2013
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
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